Schaffer's stages of Attachment

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  • Schaffer's stages of Attachment
    • Stages of Attachment
      • (1) Asocial - First few weeks, baby behaves in same way to humans and inanimate objects.
      • (2) Indiscriminate - Preference for (familiar) people, no stranger/separation anxiety.
      • (3) Specific - At about 7 months with one primary attachment figure (65% were to the mother).
      • (4) Multiple attachments - By 12 months most babies form several more attachments.
    • Schaffer and Emerson's research
      • Procedure - 60 Glasgow babies obeserved at home by mothers, reported on separation anxiety and stranger anxiety.
      • FIndings - Babies developed attachment through a fixed sequence of stages.
    • Strengths
      • Good external validity - Mothers did the observing so babies not stressed by presence of researcher.
    • Weaknesses
      • Poor evidence for asocial stage - Babies have poor co-ordination, so may just seem asocial.
      • Real-world application - Day care OK in asocial and indiscriminate stages (babies comforted by any adult), starting at specific attachment stage is undesirable.


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